Ben Philpott, KUT News

Ben Philpott covers politics and policy for KUT 90.5 FM. He has been covering state politics and dozens of other topics for the station since 2002. He's been recognized for outstanding radio journalism by the Radio and Television News Directors Association, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated, the Texas Associated Press Broadcasters and twice by the Houston Press Club as Radio Journalist of the Year. Before moving to Texas, he worked in public radio in Birmingham and Tuscaloosa, Ala., and at several television stations in Alabama and Tennessee. Born in New York City and raised in Chattanooga, Tenn., Philpott graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in broadcast journalism.

This week on The Ticket 2016: Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee, while on the Democratic side, the battle goes on. KUT's Ben Philpott talks with CNN commentator Paul Begala about what's left in that race and what's ahead for the Democratic nominee.

UPDATE 5 p.m.: There's a flash flood warning in effect for southwest Austin and western Travis County until 6:30 p.m.

This week on The Ticket 2016: It's been just over a week since Ted Cruz dropped out of the Republican Presidential nomination race. He popped up over the weekend at the Kentucky Derby and headed back to work in the U.S. Senate. But what about his campaign staff? What's next for them? Ben Philpott talks with Republican consultant Deirdre Delisi about life after the party ends.

When Sen. Ted Cruz announced Carly Fiorina as his vice presidential candidate last week, the campaign was ready with signs, stickers and a fancy website to announce the new team. While most campaign websites use the last name of both candidates (ObamaBiden.com, RomneyRyan.com), this one was CruzCarly.com. Why not CruzFiorina.com?

Matt Mackowiak, founder of Potomac Strategy Group in Washington D.C., has an idea.

"I guess they were worried that people couldn't correctly spell Fiorina," Mackowiak said. "Honestly, because people often mispronounce her last name, even though it's not that difficult. So I guess they made a decision that that would be easier."


This week on The Ticket 2016: The Texas Tribune's Jay Root is out of town again, but there's still plenty to talk about. First, KUT's Ben Philpott will go over this week's Trump Sweep in the Northeast with Republican strategist Matt Mackowiak. Then, he'll dive into the waters of political candidate cybersquatting.

Donald Trump had such a big win in Pennsylvania Tuesday night that several media outlets announced him the winner just moments after the polls closed. But, unlike other states, that big win didn’t keep Texas Senator Ted Cruz from claiming a victory – of sorts.


This week on The Ticket 2016: After two weeks of campaigning across New York, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton came away with big wins. But as we learned in previous weeks, big wins don't mean as much as you might think. KUT's Ben Philpott and the Texas Tribune's Jay Root will try to explain what the New York primary means with the help of FiveThirtyEight.com Senior Political Writer Harry Enten.

George P. Bush is expected to win Tuesday's GOP primary for land commissioner. Ben Phillpott of KUT brings the story of the young Bush's low-key campaign and outreach to Hispanic voters.

In 2014, Texas voters might just see something they haven't experienced in two decades — a competitive race for governor.

Current Republican Gov. Rick Perry isn't running for re-election, so it's an open race, with new faces and new optimism for Texas Democrats.

Earlier this year, the Democrats were once again facing the prospect of scrambling to find someone to run as their candidate. Then, on June 25, state Sen. Wendy Davis came to the Capitol in Austin wearing running shoes and ready to block a restrictive abortion bill.

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